Erica Solomon scored 14 points against Pittsburgh.

No. 19/16 Irish Fall To No. 22/24 Pittsburgh, 82-70

Feb. 3, 2009

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PITTSBURGH (AP)–Shavonte Zellous scored 29 points, surpassing 2,000 in her career, and No. 22/24 Pittsburgh beat No. 19/16 Notre Dame 82-70 on Tuesday night for its sixth straight victory.

Xenia Stewart and Taneisha Harrison scored 17 points and Shayla Scott added 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 7-2 BIG EAST).

Pepper Wilson had 12 rebounds for Pittsburgh, which beat Notre Dame for the third time in the past four games. Notre Dame leads the series 17-3.

Becca Bruszewski and Erica Solomon scored 14 points for Notre Dame (16-5, 5-4), which has lost four of its past six games.

Zellous, the BIG EAST’s leading scorer, became the third player in school history to surpass 2,000 points when she made a one-handed lay-in with 12:30 left in the game. She was fouled on the play by Ashley Barlow, but missed the free throw.

Notre Dame, which never led, closed to 49-48 on Erica Williamson’s basket 5 minutes into the second half. Zellous then scored eight points during a 14-6 Pitt run which put the Panthers ahead 63-54. The Irish got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Zellous scored 11 of Pitt’s first 21 points but was limited to 12 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

Pitt raced out to leads of 8-0 and 15-4. The Irish got as close as three points before a late run by the Panthers gave them a 40-31 halftime lead.

— ND —

POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame has dropped three of its last four series games vs. Pittsburgh after winning the first 16 matchups with the Panthers … Pitt posted its highest point total in the 20-game series, while the Irish lost for the first time when scoring at least 65 points against the Panthers … all five Notre Dame losses this season have come by 12 points or less, with the Irish having had the lead or a chance to take the lead in the second half of four of those defeats … Notre Dame falls to 4-1 against Associated Press Top 25 opponents this season (2-1 on the road) … Pitt’s 82 points were the most allowed by the Irish this year (previous: 78 by Rutgers on Jan. 27), as were the Panthers’ .538 three-point percentage (previous: .500 by Rutgers on Jan. 27) and 48 rebounds (previous: twice, last by Rutgers on Jan. 27) … Notre Dame’s nine turnovers were its second-lowest total of the season, exceeding only by the eight giveaways vs. Evansville on Nov. 19 … Notre Dame’s 21 offensive rebounds tied for its second-highest mark of the season, one behind the 22 offensive boards collected at Eastern Michigan on Dec. 2 … freshman forward Erica Solomon finished one point and two rebounds off her season and career highs (15 points at Boston College on Nov. 23; 10 rebounds at Villanova on Jan. 24) … Solomon also becomes the ninth different Irish player to post team-high scoring honors at least once this season; only injured sophomore forward Devereaux Peters, freshman guard Fraderica Miller and junior walk-on guard Alena Christiansen (a mid-season roster addition) have yet to lead Notre Dame in scoring at some point this year … sophomore forward Becca Bruszewski logged her second consecutive double-digit scoring night and fourth in six games (10th of the year after having six all of last season) … Bruszewski also wound up one rebound from her career high, set four times before (most recently this past Saturday vs. Cincinnati), and did record a new career-high three blocked shots (previously having had two blocks twice, the last vs. #24 Michigan State on Nov. 29, 2008), while playing a career-high-tying 30 minutes for the third time (second in as many games).